Despite hopes by some that with Joe Biden a new US foreign policy will follow – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reaffirmed Washington’s committment to seeking conflict in the South China Sea under the guise of “standing with Southeast Asian claimants.”
Reuters in their article, “US stands with SE Asian countries against China pressure, Blinken say” would claim:
Secretary Blinken pledged to stand with Southeast Asian claimants in the face of PRC pressure,” it said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.
China claims almost all of the energy-rich South China Sea, which is also a major trade route. The Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims.
The United States has accused China of taking advantage of the distraction of the coronavirus pandemic to advance its presence in the South China Sea.
The US announcement confirms that a confrontational posture toward China will continue regardless of who occupies the White House – as US tensions with China are rooted in unelected Western special interests and their desire to remove China as a competitor and potential usurper in what US policy papers themselves call “US primacy in Asia.”
US Primacy in Asia
One such paper titled, “Revising US Grand Strategy Toward China,” published by the Council on Foreign Relations in 2015 not only spelled out the US desire to maintain that primacy in Asia vis-a-vis China, but also how it would use overlapping claims in the South China Sea as a pretext to justify a continued – or even expanded military presence in the region and as a common cause to pressure China’s neighbors into a united front against Beijing.
The paper would note specific US goals of militarizing Southeast Asia and integrating the region into a common US-led defense architecture against China.
It is a policy built upon the US “pivot to Asia” unveiled as early as 2011 and a policy that has been built upon in turn during the last four years under the Trump administration – demonstrating the continuity of agenda that permeates US foreign policy.
Turning Disputes into Conflict
Maritime disputes are common throughout the world – even in the West.